Diabetic Kidney Disease (DKD) is one of the major complications of Diabetes Mellitus (DM)
and is currently the most common cause of End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) worldwide. Traditionally,
DKD is considered a disease which has nothing to do with the immune system, and the pathogenesis is
mainly characterized to be metabolic disturbance. Recent growing evidence indicates immunologic and
inflammatory mechanisms in the development and progression of DKD. This overview of macrophages,
dendritic cells, T lymphocytes, B lymphocytes, neutrophils and mast cells is closely involved in the
pathologic process of DKD, with more emphasis on the leucocyte accumulation and related molecular
mechanisms. Moreover, the potential contributions of these immune cells to renal injury will also be discussed.
Specifically, these findings help to identify new potential therapeutic targets of DKD. Future preclinical
and clinical studies might translate these exciting findings into clinical applications.